Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

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Adam_G
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Joined: 15.01.2017, 09:05

Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#1 Post by Adam_G » 15.01.2017, 10:00

My first post to the Forum, so please forgive me if this is not in the right place, or let me know if this is already answered somewhere else.

I would really like it if FreeCommander could fill in the blank 'date taken' field in many image files I get by email or from family/ friends phones etc.
I had hoped to be able to copy the 'Date created' into the 'Date taken' for a group of files at one time, but retaining the different dates created.
I don't know if this is possible already (if so please let me know -first post) or needs a new feature?

Background/rationale:
I am tidying up and maintaining my photo collection on a PC. I want to rename all pictures with the 'date taken' in the filename.
I get most photos from my phone and my wife's and they have the EXIF date taken variable filled in, so I can use that in multi-file rename.

Overall I am pleased with many of the features of FreeCommander to rename my picture files from various sources to include the 'date taken' (where it exists) in the filename (better than some default names like IMG_1234.jpg).

I have set up some multi-file rename (CTRL+M) profiles to Search for: IMG_????.jpg and rename / Replace with: [exif_taken] which works well when the files have the data.

However, the problem is that many image files shared through email or on my phone e.g. social media, have the 'date taken' field blank.
If the 'date taken' is blank, then I would like to be able to copy the 'date created' to the date taken field, and use it to rename the file. The EXIF 'date taken' goes down to the second so is almost always unique, but the 'date created' [dc] in Free Commander, seems to only use YYYYMMDD and not the hours, minutes and seconds. This means many pictures taken on the same day would be renamed and become duplicates which is not good and thankfully FreeCommander warns of this error in red.

Thanks for any advice or a new feature to complete this.

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Dreamer
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Re: Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#2 Post by Dreamer » 15.01.2017, 13:43

Hello Adam, welcome to the FreeCommander forum.

EXIF date taken field can't be added/edited in FreeCommander AFAIK.

However, if you want to use EXIF 'date taken' in the file name - and then file 'date created' for all files without EXIF 'date taken' only, you can do it:

First time, you can just copy/backup few files with EXIF and few without it, and test it, then you can rename all files at once.

- use the Plain view (ctrl+b) to view all files from all sub-folders
- press F2 to open multi rename dialog
- in the File name field add [exif_taken]
- click the New name column title to sort by New name
- select all files without name in the New name column *
- click menu > File > Remove from the list
- in the File name field add [exif_taken] [c]
- click the Rename button, to Rename all files with EXIF date taken

- then select all files again, press F2
- in the File name field add [exif_taken]
- click the New name column title to sort by New name
- select all files with the name in the New name column *
- click menu > File > Remove from the list
- in the File name field add [dc] [c]
- click Rename

* You can select the file and then just press Shift+End or Shift+Home to select all files with or without EXIF values

Sometimes, when you - or your friend don't use the option "Preserve file/folder timestamp" when copying, multiple files might have the same date and time created, in this case it's better to use 'Date modified', which could be more accurately. You can test which is better for your files. For Date modified (+ counter to prevent duplicates) you need to use [dm] [c]

This is not the only way, most important is to use the EXIF date taken for all available files, and Date created/modified only for files without EXIF date value.

afh
Posts: 101
Joined: 30.06.2014, 18:50
Location: Romania

Re: Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#3 Post by afh » 15.01.2017, 13:45

I can't think now for something nicer. Try this:

Image

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Dreamer
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Re: Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#4 Post by Dreamer » 15.01.2017, 14:05

afh- nice, it works too, but the counter [c] is needed for duplicates, so for Date created / Date modified it will be:

[exif_taken]_[dc] [c]
[exif_taken]_[dm] [c]


When using the Counter and multiple folders, also the option "Reset per folder" should be enabled. If you have more than 9999 files per folder, 5 digits should be used, if less than 999, you can use just 3 - and so on.

afh
Posts: 101
Joined: 30.06.2014, 18:50
Location: Romania

Re: Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#5 Post by afh » 15.01.2017, 14:31

dreamer, you are right. I didn't think about name collisions, so a counter should be added.

But adding [c] at the end of the pattern will not solve the problem when [exif_taken] exists and generates name conflicts after renaming (more files will have the same 'exif_taken')

Let's wait for @Adam_G feedback and we'll solve this problem then... :D
Last edited by afh on 22.01.2017, 16:27, edited 3 times in total.

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Dreamer
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Re: Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#6 Post by Dreamer » 15.01.2017, 16:48

afh - right, exif duplicates are quite rare, but I have some too. When using 2-step way above, counter needs to be added too: [exif_taken] [c]

I will edit my post above, just add the counter for exif. Perhaps there is also 1-step way possible...

Adam_G
Posts: 2
Joined: 15.01.2017, 09:05

Re: Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#7 Post by Adam_G » 22.01.2017, 12:48

Hi Dreamer and afh,
Firstly, thanks very much for your detailed and fast reply, sorry I haven’t had a chance to get back to this until the weekend.
Secondly, your suggestions have been very helpful.

For @Dreamer – your post on using the EXIF date taken for all available files, then Date created/modified only for files without EXIF date value – was really helpful to go through this logically.

For @afh – your suggestions to use the counters has been great as I did not know how to use that at all. That helped me solve the generation of duplicates which was happening for me in some cases. When the EXIF info for date taken is present, then they are almost always unique (at least in my experience). However, in some cases my images have been copied over from other systems or come through email or social media onto my phone and I think the date timestamp gets affected in some of those steps. I have noticed now that quite a few dates modified are EARLIER than date created which seems strange and is perhaps a result of this copying?

@afh – I don’t really understand the 2nd line in your post where you suggest:

[exif_taken][c]_[dc][c]

.*([0-9 -]{23}).*

If you have time to explain it then that would be nice, but not essential as I can already do most things I need to do now using the info you already provided.

For both – your knowledge of FreeCommander is impressive! It has shown me that it’s a more powerful and useful program than I had previously thought. All this has made me glad that I recently became a donor and also joined the forum.
So thanks to you both (and Marek and all others involved in developing and contributing to the program. - Adam

afh
Posts: 101
Joined: 30.06.2014, 18:50
Location: Romania

Re: Multi-file renaming to fill in blank 'Date taken' field

#8 Post by afh » 22.01.2017, 16:30

Adam_G wrote: @afh – I don’t really understand the 2nd line in your post where you suggest:
[exif_taken][c]_[dc][c]

.*([0-9 -]{23}).*
Sorry, my solution was wrong. Just ignore what I said. :oops:

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